Idle Hands – Demonoid (1981)

Hands are good for a lot of things. Opening jars, writing, painting, thumbing for a ride, killing – a great many things. So when it comes to cursing a part of the human body, why not the hand?

Demonoid stars Samantha Egger who plays Jennifer, a woman who along with her husband finds a severed hand in a casket while exploring a once-satanic temple. That hand takes possession of her husband, making him do things he does not want to do. At first, it lets him win a lot while gambling but when he tries to rid himself of the hand, it ends up killing him. Jennifer in the meantime has been looking for him and soon meets Father Cunningham as played by Stuart Whitman. Together, the two end up chasing the hand as it moves from victim to victim until finally, after they think they have gotten rid of it, she herself is attacked by that which should be dead.

When one talks of good, campy fun, this is the movie that they are probably referring to as director Alfredo Zacarías serves it up on a plate with a good side of cheese. Despite being slightly silly from the premise right on through to the execution, no matter how bad or ridiculous one might think it is, especially in the special effects department, one cannot deny having a good time with it. That being said, the special effects are not very good, the hand looking quite fake for the most part when it is being cut off from people or crawling around on its own. The worst moment appears right from the get-go as the young lady in the temple has her very feminine hand cut off and when it is finally panned back to, it is a gigantic man-hand instead. Silly. The horror that is present does not necessarily come from the hand either, at least not when one is looking at it, instead more from the fact that it can possess a person so they are no longer in control of their actions, at least to a degree. There is a bit of blood throughout the movie and quite a few hand sequences but there is nothing that will most likely frighten an adult, though kids might get a couple of nightmares.

Egger is quite good as the lead, essentially carrying the picture though Whitman is no slouch despite there being a few moments where he goes a little overboard. That being said, it only adds to the fun and while this might have been viewed as a serious horror film by its director, producer and such, Demonoid is just a solid popcorn movie. There is nothing overly complicated to think about, so one is just able to sit back and enjoy this little film about a hand that likes to kill.

3 out of 5

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